Google has secured a tight grip around the research done by its staff, according to internal communications and other information obtained by Reuters.
A new “sensitive topics” review procedure has, in at least three cases, “requested authors refrain from casting its technology in a negative light.” News of Google’s new process broke after Reuters was able to get its hands on internal Google communications and speak with researchers involved with the work. There were at least 13 “sensitive topics” listed in the new review policy, including bias, China, COVID-19 and Israel.
Google executives stepped in during the late stages of a research project on content recommendation technology over the summer. A senior Google manager who reviewed the research told the study’s authors to “take great care to strike a positive tone,” according to internal Google correspondence. Further discussions between researchers and reviewers showed the authors “updated to remove all references to Google products,” Reuters reported.
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